In-house ire over litigation

The ‘how long is a piece of string’ line is wearing thin, so one commenter neatly sums up after reading last week’s news about botched litigation budgets.

The ‘how long is a piece of string’ line is wearing thin, so one commenter neatly sums up after reading last week’s news about botched litigation budgets.

Our story, which flagged up firms that have been underestimating litigation costs by as much as 100 per cent, generated a vociferous response. In-house lawyers have clearly had enough. Consequently in this year’s The Lawyer Global Litigation Top 50 we’ve focused more than ever on the financial needs of the client.

“In my experience, clients don’t mind paying for the best frontline team,” argues Weight Watchers International vice-president and assistant general counsel Richard Reade. “However, clients baulk at having to pay top whack for support staff – trainees and assistants especially – facilities such as copying and post, and ‘over-lawyering’ in any way. My pet hate is being given chapter and verse on something – in written form – when I only requested bullet points.”

Another in-house lawyer sounded a warning bell for private practice, claiming that a “reckoning” was coming. Shiver. Better get reading, private practice big-dogs.

Also on The Lawyer:

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Company – No5 Chambers: Lawyers want whistleblowing rules simplified
Company – Hogan Lovells: Court of Appeal says requirement to work on some Sundays justified
Banking – Withers: ‘Dear CEO’ letter to mortgage lenders about changes to mortgage contacts
Corporate – Goodman Derrick: The introduction of compulsory pre-tribunal claim conciliation and forthcoming changes to the transfer of undertakings regulation
Tax – Shoosmiths: Autumn Statement 2013: tax summary